and he (Jesus) said to them, “my soul is very sorrowful, even to death. remain here and watch.”  and going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.  and he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. remove this cup from me. yet not what I will, but what you will.” [mark 14:34–36]
last night of his life.
last desperate prayers.
last desperate prayers before his betrayal, his arrest, and his execution.
this was it. the was the high point of his purpose and his pain. for Jesus, the Son of God, this moment would reveal who he was and whose he was, as much as any other. even the cross would not surpass this moment. we will get to that in a moment.
you have had moments like this. you have had the moment when it is very clear who you are – not who you think you are, or hope you are, but who you truly are according to God. you have had the moment when purpose and pain mix powerfully to reveal who God is and who you are, and even more to the core – whose you are.
for Jesus, this was his purpose. he came in his own words, “to give his life as a ransom for many.” [mark 10:45] he came to be the perfect sacrifice for your sin, for my sin. and, it is in this moment in the garden, on the last night of his life, that this purpose reached its apex. it was not the cross. at the cross, the purpose was finished. it was here, that the purpose required holiness, submission, obedience, and the Holy Spirit’s power. it was here that pain was maybe most high. higher than the cross? maybe.
here in the garden, Jesus realized fully the cost and it was here in the garden the reality of that cost led to this desperate prayer. the cost was surely his life in the most brutal method possible. however, the cost would also be the unity of joy and love that the God-head (Father, Son, and Spirit) had known and enjoyed … FOREVER. at this moment, he fully realized taking on guilt and shame for our sin meant giving up the joy and love he had known forever. this is why the pain became extreme and the purpose crystal clear.
he prays, “all things are possible for you. remove this cup from me.” this “cup” meant the wrath of God for all sin, the justice of God for all sin, the guilt of all for all sin, the shame of all for all. [is 51:17; jer 25:15] this he did not want to do because he knew the cost. but, listen to the rest of his prayer for it reveals who he was and even more whose he was.
“yet not what I will, but what you will.” he ends his prayer in submission to God the Father. Jesus knew the plan before time began. this moment in the garden was no surprise. however, to the God/man Jesus, it was more painful than he could endure so he cries out, for plan b … but there was no plan b and he knew it. so, he submits to God the Father. what does this reveal? it reveals Jesus knew who he was. he was God. and, he was the Son of God who had willing subjected himself to God the Father. in this moment of submission – this is clearly revealed.
but look at how the prayer begins. in this we see – whose he is.
“Abba, Father, …”
abba literally means daddy, papa, dada. in the highest moment of purpose and pain, Jesus cries out “Daddy, Father”! you use the word dad in intimate moments. but, you also use this word to declare whose you are. i am your daughter, i am your son.
Jesus knew who he was (Son of God) even though the enemy always fought to get him to be someone else – a miracle worker, magician, conquering king, etc. and Jesus knew whose he was. as the Son of God. he was the Father’s beloved Son. [matt 3:17] and it was from his identity, from who he was and whose he was, that Jesus marched straight into the fires of death and sin and bought your soul.
because he lived from whose he was, you are not your own. [1 cor 6:19-20] and because, you are now the son/daughter of the King. you too can live from who you are, from whose you are.
today, LORD, empower me to walk in my identity in you! help me remember whose i am! i am the son/daughter of the King. today Lord, empower me to cry out “Daddy” as i long to live in your purpose in the midst of pain. today LORD, empower me to cry out “Daddy” as i intercede for the many who are literally dying to figure out who they are. in Jesus’ name, the name above all names, the name of my eternal family – amen!
~ john ryan